Diary 11: Architecture Redémarré: L’Aiguille De Cléopâtre (Architecture Rebooted: Cleopatra’s Needle)
An expedition that would with ease surpass most of my wildest dreams would be to venture out to the mustard yellow and ochre lands once ruled by the divinely ordained pharaohs, conquered by Greeks and Romans, usurped by colonial interests and the site of some of the most profound archaeological treasures ever found on earth. That land is, of course, Egypt. What was endlessly humorous upon my return from Paris is that those who laid eyes on my photographic exhibit presented below believed that they had just been made the horrendous victim of nifty deception, refusing to accept my story that I had jumped over the pond to France, they instead endorsed more exotic theories about secret travels among the ruins of pyramids and tombs in the Near East!
Unfortunately, as amazingly epic their arguments were, I could not vindicate them. My lens had captured a bewitching scene at the end of a fine day in…. Paris! I came upon an ancient Egyptian obelisk constructed thousands of years before the reign of the tragic Greek pharaoh and queen, Cleopatra, its name was still attributed to her as ‘Cleopatra’s Needle’, and that which had the mysterious essences of aliveness, dominance and atmospheric vitality. Emanating an undeniable impression of its ageless function, as if still stood erect and presiding over the people of ancient Egypt; unlike ‘Lot’s Wife’, the Needle unseen beneath ocean waves, this Needle could be seen and it captivated my attention as tight as a tightrope!
Its twin pair to this day remaining in Luxor, the Paris Needle was constructed during the 19th Dynasty, at the time of the reign of the great Ramesses II and is covered in beautiful hieroglyphics whose inscriptions Victoriously praise the royal splendour and bountifulness of the King, he who is forever under the blissful protective eye of both Horus and Ra, the Sun God. In the golden fires of the evening sky I contemplated the marvel of Destiny’s connective tissue that spanned over borders, the symbology of the healing and unifying Needle had taken a liking to following my footfalls wherever I went in the world. I promise to not to make a big deal of it when I reach Egypt someday, I am sure the impact of any telling of a story that attempts to highlight the spiritual relationship between Needle architecture and myself will not unleash the same potency in its tale from such localities since Needles are to be found everywhere in those lands! Should I find a snowflake in the desert, on the other hand, I shall be sure to inform You at the earliest opportunity… :))
EPILOGUE: A needle can induce as much harm to one, as it can, good. Just released in the Indian press today is the rather morbid case of the ‘Needle Man’ who has been terrorising poor folk with his stash of hypodermic needles, injecting them into people, and then escaping the scene on a bike wearing a mask. What a tragedy, indeed. I should love to attend a line-up of suspects, for my sniff of the criminally insane would instantly detect the nasty culprit after which I would overrule all formal police disciplinary procedures and simply go ahead and stick my ‘Cleopatra’s Needle’ in his arm so that he may get a taster of what it is like to be attacked in this way! I pray that he is caught soon! Why are You sweating…? :))
Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Place De La Concorde | Paris | France 2015